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July 27, 1958

Letter, Mao Zedong to Peng Dehuai and Huang Kecheng

This document was made possible with support from Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation



Comrades [Peng] Dehuai and [Huang] Kecheng:


[I] could not sleep [last night], but thought about it again.  It seems more appropriate to hold our [plans] to attack Jinmen for several days.  While holding our operations, [we will] observe the situational development there.  We will not attack whether or not the other side relieves a garrison.  Until they launch a provocative attack, [we will] then respond with a counterattack.  The solution of the problem in the Middle East takes time.  Since we have time, why should we be in a big hurry?  We will hold our attack plans now, but one day we will put it into implementation.  If the other side invades Zhang[zhou], Shan[tou], Fuzhou, and Hangzhou, a best scenario [for us to take action] would emerge.  How do you think about this idea?  Could you have a discussion about this with other comrades?  It is extremely beneficial [for our decision-making] with politics in command and going through repeated deliberations.  To make a plan too quickly usually results in an unthoughtful consideration.  I did such things quite often and sometimes had unavoidable miscalculations.  What is your opinion?  Even if the other side attacks us, [we still] can wait for a couple of days for a clear calculation, and then start our counterattack.  Can all of the above points be accounted as working out splendid plans here to defeat the enemy in battles a thousand miles away, and having some certainty of success that we will be ever-victorious?  We must persist in the principle of fighting no battle we are not sure of winning.  If you agree [with the above points], telegraph this letter to Ye Fei and ask him to think about it very carefully.  Let me know his opinion.


Have a peaceful morning!


Mao Zedong

10:00 a.m., 27 July [1958]






Mao Zedong decides to deplay the planned bombardment of the nationalist-controlled Jinmen Island in the Taiwan Strait.


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Zhonggong zhongyang wenxian yanjiushi, ed., Jianguo yilai Mao Zedong wengao (Mao Zedong’s Manuscripts since the Founding of the People’s Republic of China), vol. 7 (Beijing: Zhongyang wenxian chubanshe, 1992), 326-327.


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Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation